Targeted grazing

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Targeted grazing

  1. 1. Goats and sheep: a weapon against weeds<br />SUSAN SCHOENIANSheep & Goat SpecialistUniversity of Maryland Extensionsschoen@umd.edu – www.sheepandgoat.com<br />
  2. 2. Topics<br />Choosing animals<br />Controlling animals<br />Animal management<br />
  3. 3. Choosing animals<br />Species<br />Breed<br />Sex<br />Age<br />Condition<br />Health<br />
  4. 4. Species<br />Goat<br />Sheep<br />Both<br />
  5. 5. Goats<br />Browsers<br />Top-down grazers<br />Selective grazers<br />Can tolerate secondary compounds<br />Very agile<br />Can reach high-growing forage<br />Will destroy young trees<br />Don’t like to get wet<br />Can be hard to contain<br />Harder to handle<br />
  6. 6. Sheep<br />Intermediate grazers<br />Readily consume grass<br />Prefer forbs (broadleaf weeds)<br />Selective grazers<br />Graze close to the ground<br />Avoid wet areas<br />Easier to handle<br />Easier to contain<br />
  7. 7. Breed<br />Some breeds have different grazing preferences.<br />Larger framed animals will have a higher browsing line.<br />Breeds vary in their management needs and tolerance to environmental stresses and disease challenge.<br />There are more differences among breeds than between breeds.<br /><ul><li>Crossbreds tend to be hardier.</li></li></ul><li>Sex<br /><ul><li>Females and wethers (neutered males) are usually easier to handle than intact males.</li></ul>Intact male goats have an offensive odor during the rutting season.<br />Don’t mix intact males with females.<br />
  8. 8. Age<br />Lambs and kids learn to eat from their dams.<br />Lambs and kids are more likely to try novelty foods.<br />Lambs and kids have higher nutritional requirements.<br />Lambs and kids are less tolerant of environmental stresses and disease challenges.<br />Older animals are easier to handle and move.<br />
  9. 9. Condition<br />Horns<br />Status <br />Health<br />
  10. 10. Horns<br />Horned animals are usually more difficult to handle than polled (or disbudded) animals.<br />Horns can get entangled in fences and feeders.<br />Horned animals need more space.<br />Horned animals will dominate polled animals.<br />Should not mix horned and polled animals.<br />Most common breeds of sheep do not have horns.<br />
  11. 11. Status<br />Growth<br /><ul><li>Maintenance</li></ul>Early to mid-gestation<br />Late gestation<br />Early lactation<br />Late lactation<br />
  12. 12. Health<br />General appearance<br />Hair coat<br />Body condition<br />Thriftiness<br />Disease status<br />External parasites<br />Internal parasites<br />Hoof health<br />Vaccinations <br />Clostridial diseases<br /><ul><li>Rabies</li></li></ul><li>Where to locate breeders and purchase animals<br /><ul><li>Companies that offer fee-based grazing services.</li></ul>Recommendation from local county extension office.<br />Web sites<br />Online directories<br />www.sheepgoatmarketing.info<br />Listings in farm publications<br />Public livestock auctions<br />Free<br />Give-aways<br />Rescue animals<br />
  13. 13. Controlling animals<br />Transportation<br /><ul><li>Containment (fencing)</li></ul>Handling<br />
  14. 14. Fencing options<br />Permanent<br />Woven wire or net fencing<br />High-tensile, electric<br />Temporary, portable<br />Electric smooth wire<br />Polywire, tape, rope<br />Electric netting<br />
  15. 15. Permanent fencing<br />Traditional net wire <br />Physical barrier<br />Off-set wires to keep predators out and livestock away from fence.<br />More expensive<br />High-tensile, electric<br />Psychological (and physcial?) barrier <br />4 to 8 strands, properly- spaced wires<br />Less expensive<br />
  16. 16. Temporary (portable) fencing<br />Electric netting<br />Electricsmooth, polywire, tape, rope<br />Different configurations and heights<br />Comes in standard size rolls.<br />Physical/physiological barrier<br />Predator proof<br />More expensive<br />1 to 3 wires<br />Single or multi-wire rolls<br />Step-in posts<br />Least expensive type of fencing<br />Physiological barrier only<br />
  17. 17. Handling options<br />Low-stress<br />Manhandle them<br />Train them<br />Work in harmony with their natural behavior<br />Working pens<br />Chute<br />Restraint<br />Foot bath<br />Push<br />Drag<br />Pull<br />Grab horns<br /><ul><li>Collars
  18. 18. Halters
  19. 19. Grain as motivation</li></ul>Don’t handle them<br /><ul><li>What are the consequences of not handling them?</li></li></ul><li>Animal management<br />Water <br />Shelter / shade<br />Natural<br />Portable<br />Predator control<br />Fencing<br />Guardians (?)<br />Nutritional<br />Minerals<br />Other supplementation?<br />Health<br />Parasites<br />Hooves <br />
  20. 20. Goats and sheep: a weapon against weeds<br />

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